Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Rules for Breaking Rules
There are probably more.
Some of my most favorites books of all time have all of the above. So, all you aspiring writers out there, take heed. We read blog after blog and article after article about the rules, what agents want and hate. We revise our MSs in a state of panic and what is the result? A really bad revision.
There are basic rules to storytelling, yes. Beginning, middle end...story arc...plot...yada. But these other rules are not black and white.
My prologue is not a ten page diatribe. It's one page, a tease about the future, and I love it. My CP's prologue is action packed and a cliffhanger for sure. Some of my favorite authors have them and I really love the set-up.
I recently read a book that had a whole passage that was passive and telling. I liked it because it was insight about a specific past event. It was compelling and well written for a rule breaker. Another one had dialogue tags left and right and I didn't even care, the story was that good.
Learn the craft and to do that you must READ. READ. READ. READ. READ.
As someone who participates in Critique groups I can tell you this... I have read some really well written prose. No telling, no passives, they follow all the rules. And they were....okay. Nothing new or spectacular for the genre but not bad either. I have read some work that was so rough it hurt to read. But guess what...the story was so awesome and the characters so crisp I loved it and wanted to read more.
I thought I knew it all when I started in 2009. I didn't no shite. There is still a ton of shite out there I have yet to conquer.
Go out my young Padawans and Obie Ones and fertilize your minds with what you've yet to explore. Break a rule now and then, just be sure it's worth it and works for you...
Now, some clips to pay tribute.
Every girl loves the bad boy...
Danny Glover should have had an intervention with Mel this time around.